People > Senusret II

Senusret II

Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


Senusret II, also known as Sesostris II, was the fourth pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty of ancient Egypt, ruling approximately from 1897 to 1878 BCE during the Middle Kingdom period. His reign is noted for economic development, agricultural innovations, and building projects, particularly his pyramid at El-Lahun. Here is an overview of Senusret II and his reign:


  1. 12th Dynasty:
    • The 12th Dynasty is considered one of the most prosperous and stable periods in ancient Egyptian history, marked by strong centralized government, cultural achievements, and economic growth.
    • Senusret II was the son of Amenemhat II and succeeded him to the throne, continuing the dynasty's legacy of stability and prosperity.

Reign of Senusret II

  1. Economic and Agricultural Development:

    • Senusret II is well-known for his focus on agricultural development and irrigation projects. He implemented significant irrigation works in the Faiyum region, aimed at increasing arable land and improving agricultural productivity.
    • His efforts in the Faiyum included the construction of canals and drainage systems, which allowed for the reclamation of swampy areas and the expansion of farmland.
  2. Administrative Reforms:

    • Senusret II maintained the centralized administrative system established by his predecessors, ensuring efficient governance and control over Egypt's resources.
    • He appointed loyal officials and regional governors (nomarchs) to oversee various parts of the country, maintaining the balance of power and preventing local rulers from becoming too autonomous.
  3. Building Projects:

    • Pyramid at El-Lahun: Senusret II's most significant architectural achievement was his pyramid complex at El-Lahun, near the Faiyum. This pyramid, known as the Pyramid of Senusret II, was part of a larger complex that included temples, courtyards, and a workers' village.
    • Town of Kahun: The workers' village at Kahun (modern-day Lahun), built to house the laborers working on his pyramid and other projects, is one of the earliest examples of a planned urban settlement. Excavations at Kahun have provided valuable insights into the daily lives of the workers and the organization of labor in ancient Egypt.
    • Senusret II also contributed to the construction and renovation of temples and other religious buildings across Egypt, emphasizing his devotion to the gods and his role as a pious ruler.
  4. Foreign Relations and Trade:

    • Senusret II maintained diplomatic and trade relations with neighboring regions, including Nubia, the Levant, and the Eastern Desert.
    • His reign saw the continuation of mining expeditions and trade missions to secure valuable resources such as gold, copper, and turquoise, which were essential for the economy and religious offerings.


  1. Historical Significance:

    • Senusret II is remembered for his contributions to Egypt's economic and agricultural development, particularly his irrigation projects in the Faiyum. These projects had a lasting impact on the region's productivity and prosperity.
    • His administrative and architectural achievements reflect a period of stability and effective governance, contributing to the overall strength and continuity of the 12th Dynasty.
  2. Archaeological Evidence:

    • The pyramid complex at El-Lahun and the workers' village at Kahun are significant archaeological sites that provide valuable information about Senusret II's reign and the broader social and economic context of the Middle Kingdom.
    • Artifacts and inscriptions from his reign offer insights into his policies, religious practices, and interactions with other regions.
  3. Cultural Contributions:

    • Senusret II's emphasis on agricultural development and irrigation innovations set a precedent for subsequent pharaohs, highlighting the importance of land and resource management in ancient Egyptian society.
    • His support for religious institutions and construction projects reinforced the cultural and religious continuity of the Middle Kingdom.


Senusret II was a pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty during the Middle Kingdom of ancient Egypt, known for his focus on economic development, agricultural innovations, and significant building projects. His reign was marked by stability, prosperity, and effective governance, with notable achievements in irrigation and urban planning. The pyramid complex at El-Lahun and the workers' village at Kahun are lasting legacies of his architectural and administrative efforts. Senusret II's contributions to agriculture, administration, and culture ensured the continued strength and success of the 12th Dynasty.

Twenty-Sixth Dynasty of Egypt (Saites)

King NameHorus-NameReignConsortPyramid
Amenemhat ISehetepibre1991-1962 BCEQueen NeferitatjenenPyramid of Amenemhet I
Senusret I (Sesostris I)Kheperkare1971-1926 BCEQueen Neferu IIIPyramid of Senusret I
Amenemhat IINubkhaure1929-1895 BCEQueen Kaneferu
Queen Keminub
White Pyramid
Senusret II (Sesostris II)Khakheperre1897-1878 BCEQueen Khenemetneferhedjet I
Queen Neferet II
Queen Itaweret
Queen Khnemet
Pyramid at El-Lahun
Senusret III (Sesostris III)Khakaure1878-1839 BCEPyramid at DahshurQueen Meretseger
Queen Neferthenut
Queen Khnemetneferhedjet II
Queen Sithathoriunet
Amenemhat IIINimaatre1860-1814 BCEQueen Aat
Queen Hetepi
Queen Khenemetneferhedjet III
Black Pyramid
Pyramid at Hawara
Amenemhat IVMaakherure1815-1806 BCESouthern Mazghuna Pyramid
SobekneferuSobekkare1806-1802 BCENorthern Mazghuna Pyramid
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